Zach Pfeffer's year long loan with Hoffenheim will end up as more than training or just playing time, according to a report by Yanks Abroad.
Brian Sciaretta, in an interview with Pfeffer, revealed that Hoffenheim's interest in Pfeffer is beyond a simple partnership with the Union. He made it clear that this loan was not reciprocation for the Union taking Kai Herdling on loan during the 2012 Major League Soccer regular season.
"Industry sources have confirmed to YA that Hoffenheim rate Pfeffer a US U-18 international, highly and are interested on bringing him in for a full year," Sciaretta said. "Hoffenheim's interest in taking Pfeffer on loan is for an extended look and should he impress in 2013, the club will be better prepared to make an offer for a transfer. There is no set option to buy on this loan and the Union has already exercised the club option for 2014 on Pfeffer's contract."
While the Union and Hoffenheim did not include a purchase clause in Pfeffer's loan, Philadelphia picked up the youth international's 2014 contractual option, per Sciaretta. The move made his potential transfer fee higher, while additionally protecting the team against him signing for free once he turned 18 and was no longer employed by the club.
Pfeffer also told Sciaretta that his playing time with Hoffenheim will begin with the under-19 team, then with the under-23 team.
"I'm looking forward to playing more competitive games and taking the next step in my development as a young professional," Pfeffer said to Yanks Abroad. "I think I will start with the U19s to get comfortable with the culture and language and then hopefully move up to the U23s eventually if everything goes well. The level of play is very good at both age groups."